Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Kamia Bay Resort Puerto Princesa

UPDATE: June 2015
This place has been leased out to a developer who has been known to ruin things, like the did to Puka beach in Boracay. I am protesting this...please visit my blog about it.
Save Turtle Bay!

UPDATE: August 2014
As of now this place has closed to the general public. But is open for special events.

Binunsalian Bay, Brgy. Luzviminda, Puerto Princesa City, PH.
+639173114506 (Globe),+639213197695 (Smart), & Tel No.: 048 433-0248



One of our favorite places to go to relax, swim, snorkel or have lunch is Kamia Bay Resort. Mainly because it's only 6 minutes away from our home via banca, or 9 minutes by car.

Being only about 45 minutes from Puerto Princesa city Center, it presents a very nice day trip without sacrificing 3 hours round trip to swim, snorkel or scuba dive as going to Sabang will take. Hotel Centro in town can book packages if you are a group or you can just toodle down National Highway south approximately 35 kilometers and then turn left into the property. You will be asked to park your car there as there is no parking in the resort area. An air conditioned van will fetch you and your group and it's only a 2 minute ride down to the resort on the bay.

Fresh jelly fish cerviché
Photo by Kamia Bay Resort
The food is very good as well. Mostly native Filipino dishes and lately they have added an exotic dish from the jellyfish in Turtle bay. Since they had to remove so many to protect the swimmers, they thought of a clever way to recycle them, they made a fresh jellyfish cerviché!

I like the Sinigang, Tinolang Manok, Chicken Ara Tulan, well actually, I like most everything on the menu that we have tried.

There is no entrance fee if you just want to go eat at the restaurant and enjoy the marvelous views of the bay and distant Thumb Peak. If you want to avail of the swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking to name a few activities, then they have specific charges for each activity. If you don't have your own gear, you can rent them there. They also have mangrove tours and the scuba diving packages include 10 diving spots outside the bay in the pristine and clear waters. The water in the bay tendy to be a little murky because the fresh water estuaries run into the sea water bay and there are muddy mangroves on the opposite side of the bay.

Kamia Bay Resort Restaurant has excellent food and the service is good and staff helpful and very friendly.

Kayaks are available for rent to paddle around the mangroves in turtle bay.

Kamia Bay Resort Restaurant

The views are superb and utterly relaxing.

This has been turned into a massage pavilion on the water. How relaxing can you get?

Lounge right on the sand by the water's edge.

They have floating balsa tables which you can rent for a day or 4 hours.

Stuffed Squid. Never over cooked.

Chile Crab - yes be prepared to get your hands sticky, but so worth it.

Yummy crispy pata with fried kangkong and potatoes. Frankly I am not fond of the kangkong and potatoes as they don't turn out crispy like the pata.
Comfort rooms for men and women. The main gripe I have about the showers is that they are not covered, but I am told they will remedy this in the near future.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Estrella River Waterfalls Narra

Heading south on the National Highway from Puerto Princesa City, you can take a van or motorbike to Estrella River Waterfalls for a day jaunt. The trip from Puerto city center is approximately 2 1/2 hours one way. But if you bring everything you need to enjoy the rest, relaxing and swimming activities a couple of hours at this river and waterfalls will certainly invigorate you on a hot summer day. You can hire a van with a driver for approximately 3500.00 per day and a van is capable of traversing the roads. Stick to summer as the roads will be muddy during rainy season, and the waters would be too cold to swim in unless you are from Alaska! If you don't like crowds. Do not go on a weekend!!

If you head there early, on the way to the waterfalls you might have time to take in the usual city tour of Bakers Hill, Butterfly gardens, Irawan Eco park Zip line and the Crocodile Farm and Nature Conservancy as well as further up the road where the historic Iwahig Penal Colony where you can make a donation and dance with the prisoners for a cool video memory.

There is a fee to get in and with parking and 6 people in our party, it cost 250.00 Php. Well worth it for the nice covered tables to sit at as well as the convenience of a male and female comfort room, although very basic.
There are many covered tables as well as open seating if you prefer to bask in the sunlight.

The South National highway past Aborlan is really bumpy and full of pot holes as well as road and bridge construction. At Narra you turn right between two gas stations and from there to the falls it's a graded dirt road. Head straight past the rice fields until you come to a sign to turn left at a sign indicating Estrella River Waterfalls

You need to pack up in a cooler all you need as there are no services or stores at the river itself. They have provided sinks to wash, Comfort rooms and places to grill any meats, fish or veggies you bring, I assume you need to bring your own charcoal as well.  There are several covered tables with seats so you can eat in comfort. You might want to bring your won toilet tissue because none is provided in the comfort rooms. It's all very basic but it works..they do provide a pail and a faucet to fill and flush the toilet with.

They have ropes across the river at the deepest part after the falls and a rope in a tree you can swing from. They also provide inner tubes.

The clear waters of Estrella river are cold. We went in early February but I can imagine it will feel more refreshing to me when summer really hits. This is the rope you can use to get to the other side of the river where there is a rope hanging in a tree you can jump into the river from.

They do provide Inner tubes to float in the river on.

Across the river there are monkeys always begging for food. They ask that you do not feed them at the sitting areas for people for a good reason. These are macaques with big sharp teeth and if they get in the habit of going over to the human side, they could be a threat and also they are known to steal and break things like cameras etc.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Arena Island - Narra Palwan

One of Palawans' best kept secrets is Arena island in Narra, Palawan, Philippines.  It is a 4 hectare island off the coast of Narra.

"The untouched beauty that surrounds this 4-hectare island-resort will astonish as you bask in the solace of the luxurious casitas and pavilions. The majestic reefs, waters, and biodiversity beyond then provide both an arresting complement and contrast to the fine amenities and services. Graciously blessed with all the quiet and comfort heaven will allow, the resort itself is already a complete getaway experience. Apart from this, the island was designed with eco-tourism in mind, committed to preserving the Pawikan, the Philippines’ native sea turtles. This paradise island, located in the coastal municipality of Narra, captivates effortlessly, especially for guests in need of peace and enriching scenery. " is how they describe the island on their own website.